Arya Samaj was founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati in 1875 in Bombay. The main goal of Arya Samaj was:
- It stood for the four-fold varna system determined by merit and not by birth.
- Opposed untouchablility, cast discrimination, child marriage etc.
- Stood for equal rights for both men and women in social and educational matters.
- Accepted the authority of Vedas but sanctioned by rationalism and utilitarianism.
- Preached fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man, equality of sex, love and charity towards all.
The Samaj established Anglo-Vedic schools and colleges and Gurukul Pathsala at Haridwar. The Samaj started the Shuddhi movement to convert non-Hindus to Hinduism. The became a contributing factor in the growth of Communalism in India in the 2oth century.